Cranberry, Delicata Squash & Walnut Salad

holiday salads Nov 21, 2020

Cranberry, Delicata Squash & Walnut Salad - serves 6-8

A family tradition, this salad is light and refreshing and pairs perfectly with turkey. The sweetened raw cranberries and a pop of freshness and tang plus loads of vitamin C.

Note that the cranberries need to macerate for one hour before making the salad.


  • 1 small shallot, minced 

  • 2 Tbls. freshly squeezed lemon juice, champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar

  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard

  • 5 Tbls. olive oil


  • 2 to 3 large heads butter lettuce, washed, dried and torn

  • 1 bunch (or large handful) arugula

  • 1 1/2 cups sliced celery (3-4 ribs) 

  • 1 medium delicata squash ( about 1 lb.) (optional and can be done ahead)

  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped

  • 1 to 2 Tbls. organic sugar

  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts or pecans


  1. In a bowl that fits the cranberries, mix them with the sugar, massage slightly and let sit for one hour or more. 

  2. Slice the celery on the diagonal in very thin slices. Place in a bowl with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and allow to sit for 20 minutes. Rinse well and pat dry. Set aside.

  3. To toast the nuts, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 425˚F. Place nuts on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 4 to 5 minutes and just until fragrant. Watch carefully.

  4. Trim the ends of the squash and halve them lengthwise, and scoop out and discard the seeds and strings. Slice them thin into half-moons, about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to the parchment-lined cookie sheet and drizzle with 1 Tbls. of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Gently toss to coat evenly. Arrange the squash slices in a single layer. Roast, rotating the pan after 10 minutes, until the slices are just tender and starting to brown, 15 - 20 minutes.  Be sure not to overcook or the squash will dry out. When done, set aside and let cool to room temperature.

  5. Make the dressing by whisk all but the olive oil in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in remaining 4 tablespoons of oil. Add salt to taste.

To serve: Drain the cranberry juice that has collected at the bottom of the bowl into the dressing and whisk. Toss the lettuce with just enough dressing to lightly coat. Taste for seasoning. Place the dressed lettuce in a serving bowl and sprinkle with squash, cranberries and walnuts. Toss once and very lightly. Don’t over toss or everything will fall to the bottom. Drizzle with a bit of additional dressing and pass remaining dressing on the side.

  • 10 cup mixed greens can be used instead of butter lettuce and arugula

  • Pomegranate seeds can be substituted for cranberries and don’t need to be marinated in sugar.

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